Sunday, March 12, 2017

Time With My Daughter

I am a list maker. I am a woman of routine. I am OCD. I am passionate. I am emotional. I am a clean freak.

These are parts of me that come out in my parenting. I often react, instead of respond. I easily get overwhelmed by the to-do list.  I am constantly looking and thinking ahead.....what needs to be done and how much needs to be much so, I often find myself missing the now.

I admit that at times this makes me miss the relationships with those around me.

There have been many times that I have spent time with my girls with expectations of grandeur, for it only to end in me over reacting and us all stressed.  

I am on complete trial and error as a mom, especially with my oldest.  I have never raised an almost teenager.   I am learning.  Lately,  I am on the side of error more and more. I have given consequences and reacted in ways that may not have been the best choice. And I confess, I am much worse with my oldest daughter, than I am my younger daughter. Maybe it's because we are similar? Maybe it's because we are different? Maybe it's because I get a little more time with my youngest? Maybe it's the ages?
I recently listened to a speaker talk about discipleship and I had the thought; Do we disciple our children as much as we encourage them in sports?  This was a gut punch. Tears streamed down my face at this conviction. But how? We are so busy. My list, her list, everyone's list is mile long. How do we fit it all in? And how do we do it?

We continued to do life and we had another evening of frustration and ended up discussing at church with our pastor's wife a few instances...I can't even recall everything she said...but what I took away was the word relationship and I was convicted that maybe, just maybe I expect too much of her. 

Maybe, just maybe what I see as building responsibility, is a place where she needs me to give her guidance.  If I am overwhelmed by my list as an almost 40 year old woman, I am sure she is as an almost 13 year old girl.  Do I expect her to just take care of it or do I guide her through the multiple demands of  mundane daily living? 

We get so wrapped in the places we have to be and the things that we have to do that we are missing the relationships involved in those places and those things.  We must build and grow relationships in the mundane.  And when we can, grow those relationships outside of the mundane. We have to have relationship, to have discipleship.

How do we build relationship and disciple in the midst of the to-do's and routine of life? 

Honestly, I don't know exactly.  But, I recently had a chance to grow my relationship with my oldest.

My girls and I were planning to do something fun during spring break one day. I was thrilled to spend time them and change my expectations of grandeur, to just being present with them and trying not let a to-do list consume my thoughts.  But, during our week the Lord provided an opportunity for me to spend time with my oldest.  A chance to grow our relationship outside of the mundane. 
We spent the day together and it filled my soul.  She helped fix my hair, we had lunch, we listened to her choice of music, we drove go-karts, played laser tag, played putt-putt, and ended the day with a trip to a jewelry store.

When we arrived at our destination, I paid for 3 hours of all you can do activities, but immediately found myself saying, "Now, we will not stay the whole time.  I have to work tomorrow and have things to do to get ready for that and I have to work out early."  Uggggghhhh the to-do list is always rearing it's head!!

We ended up staying the whole time.  I didn't want it to end.  I laughed so hard as she recklessly drove me around the go-kart course.  We took a ton of selfies. We made a ton of memories, including  losing my phone on the track. We named our golf balls....Steve was hers and mine was Pete.  I found myself present in the moment; not missing the now. When we were playing putt-putt, my OCDness wanted to play by the rules, but she just wanted to play.  She reminded me that sometimes you have to forget the rules and play according to the rhythm of those around you.

It was beautiful.

How do we build relationship and disciple in the midst of the to-do's and routine of life?  

I didn't figure it out in a day, but I know spending time with my daughter was a beautiful start. 

We take a time out.  We spend time together.  We let go of control.  We talk.  We  laugh.  We sing.  We open the sunroof.  We pray.  We play.  We forget the rules sometimes.  We forget the to-do's. We listen.  We love.

We can do these things in the mundane and outside of the mundane and I think that maybe, just maybe that is where we begin building relationship and disciple in the midst of the to-do's and routine of life!